In his introduction to the play, how does Arthur Miller explain what really motivated the people of Salem to accuse their neighbors, friends, and relatives of witchcraft?
Arthur Miller explains that everyone in Salem wanted vengeance upon others for various reasons. Because of that, witchcraft accusations flew.
What were Abigail Williams and the girls doing in the forest when Reverend Parris saw them?
The girls were dancing and some of them were not wearing clothes. There was a frog in the pot and Tituba was chanting.
Why is Reverend Parris so worried about the evidence of witchcraft being discovered in his own house?
Revered Parris wants to remain minister and fears any evidence that may harm his reputation.
What does Rebecca Nurse think is wrong with the girls?
She thinks that the girls are faking witchcraft to get attention.
Why is Mrs. Putnam so eager to prove there is witchcraft in the village?
She has lost all but one of her children shortly after they were born and wants someone to blame (a scapegoat).
What is the source of the conflict between Reverend Parris and John Proctor?
John Proctor questions Reverend Parris’s beliefs and morals. He sees that Revered Parris is more concerned with keeping his position as minister than with practicing his true religion and devotion to God.
What is the relationship between Abigail Williams and John Proctor?
John Proctor cheated on Elizabeth Proctor, his wife, with Abigail Williams once. Abigail Williams is now obsessed with John and wants to be his wife, but John feels guilty after committing adultery.
How does Abigail Williams feel about John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth Proctor?
Abigail Williams is jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and thus despises her.
What is unusual about Giles Corey?
He never attended church before he married his wife. He reports that his wife reads books that he does not know about. Also, he files lawsuits regularly.
Why is Thomas Putnam such a bitter man?
He wants more land and therefore, more power.
Who is Reverend Hale, and what does he accomplish?
He is a reverend who is summoned to Salem to identify witches. He puts the majority of Salem in jail, but later realizes that there is no witchcraft in Salem- only corruption. He leaves and returns later.
Why does Tituba confess so readily? What does her confession initiate?
She confesses because she is being whipped. Her confession causes the women to begin accusing one another.
What is the source of the tension in the Proctor household?
Elizabeth Proctor knows that John committed adultery and she cannot forgive him for that.
What does Elizabeth Proctor fear about Abigail Williams?
She fears Abigail Williams’s instability and thinks that she will do anything to get her out of the way so that she can have John Proctor for herself.
What is the only way a person accused of witchcraft can save his or her own life?
They must confess to witchcraft.
How does Mary Warren “save” Elizabeth Proctor’s life, but later cause her to be accused?
Mary Warren defended Elizabeth Proctor when she was accused of witchcraft during the trails.
According to John Proctor, what concerns Reverend Parris more than his duty to God?
Reverend Parris is more concerned with keeping his position as minister. He purchased gold and candles.
Why does Reverend Hale come to see the Proctors?
Because they were not attending church and there was a needle in Abigail William’s abdomen.
Which commandment does John Proctor forget when asked to recite the Ten Commandments by Reverend Hale?
Why do Giles Corey and Francis Nurse come to see John Proctor?
Because their wives were accused of witchcraft and they were concerned with the corruption in Salem.
What happens to Elizabeth Proctor in Act 2?
She is arrested for witchcraft and put in jail.
What does John Proctor demand of Marry Warren in Act 2?
That she tell the court that she put the needle in the doll to free Elizabeth Proctor of accusations, but Mary refuses because she says that Abigail will kill her.
Of what does Giles Corey accuse Thomas Putnam in Act 3?
Of telling his daughter to accuse Giles Corey’s wife of witchcraft so that he could buy Giles Corey’s land.
How does Reverend Hale change as the proceedings progress?
He begins to see that Salem’s court and church are corrupt. He finally withdraws himself from the court and its proceedings.
Why will Elizabeth Proctor’s life be spared for at least a year?
Because she is pregnant and the church will not kill an innocent child.
What does John Proctor reveal in Act 3 in an effort to discredit Abigail Williams?
He confesses that he committed adultery and had an affair with Abigail Williams. He calls her a “*****”.
Explain John Proctor’s last speech in Act 3.
It was mainly about the corruption in the Puritan church. He cries that God is dead. This speech demonstrates his almost complete madness and loss of faith-“in hypocrites!!!” (Mr. Sturdevant commented)
How has Salem been affected by these several months of court proceedings?
Salem is falling apart. Because so many are in jail, children and animals run free. Everyone is confused and frightened by the extent to which the trails have been taken and fear that they will be accused next.
What is Reverend Parris’ real reason for pleading the postponement of the executions?
To save his own reputation and position.
What makes Danforth anxious to obtain confessions? At the same time, why does he refuse to postpone the executions?
He knows that he made a mistake, but does not want to look like a fool after arresting and hanging so many people. He wants to look like he did what was right, so he says that John Proctor must confess and sign a document to save his life as well as Danforth’s own reputation. He refuses to postpone the executions because it will appear that he is hesitating and questioning his decision.
Why does Reverend Hale return to Salem in Act 5?
To convince the accused to confess and save their innocent lives.
Why doesn’t Elizabeth Proctor beg John Proctor to sign the confession?
She wants John Proctor to do what he wishes and “have his goodness”.
How has Elizabeth Proctor changed during her imprisonment?
She has forgiven John Proctor and apologizes for keeping such a “cold house”.
How did Giles Corey die? Why did he refuse to answer the charge?
He was crushed to death by stones because he didn’t want to subject someone else to hatred from Thomas Putnam over key land by divulging a name. He, himself, would die either way.
What makes John Proctor finally tear up his confession and decide it is better to hang?
He does not want his confession nailed to the church door before all to see. He claims that he has left is his name and they won’t even leave him that.
What happens to Elizabeth Proctor at the end of the play?
She is spared for at least a year because she is pregnant.
What happens to Reverend Parris at the end of the play?
His reputation has been destroyed and he is fired.
What happens to Abigail at the end of the play?
She goes to Boston and becomes a prostitute.